Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
You'll Like The 2009 Chevrolet Aveo If...
If you’re looking for budget-conscious, efficient basic transportation you’ll like the 2009 Chevrolet Aveo. Practical, utilitarian and with no complicated high-tech systems to learn, the little sedan is also a good choice for RVers looking for a haul-behind car. Another plus: The high seating position for driver and passenger.
You May Not Like The 2009 Chevrolet Aveo If...
If you’re seeking a small car that can also perform like a sports car, the Aveo’s economy-minded engine and suspension may leave you wanting more. You may also find that properly-secured children are the best bet for occupying the rear seat. With the front seats all the way back, there is very minimal legroom for rear-seat passengers.
The Aveo5 gets a new grille and minor interior updates, while all Aveo models now feature a more powerful 1.6-liter engine. New standard equipment includes OnStar, variable windshield wipers and an auxiliary audio input jack. A new 15-inch alloy wheel is available on 2LT trims, as is charcoal leatherette seating and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
With small touches of metallic grain, satin chrome trim and a faux leather interior, the Aveo LT retains an upscale look uncommon in this class. Front seats with tilt headrests, storage pockets in doors and seatbacks, a sunglass holder and six-way adjustable driver’s seat are features you’d expect in a higher-priced car. The dashboard is simplicity at its best, clearly showing all the information the driver needs. The front passenger seat reclines and, with a trunk capacity of 12.4 cubic feet and rear 60/40-split seats that fold almost flat in the sedan and feature a flip-and-fold-flat design in the five-door, there’s plenty of room for good-sized boxes or long, skinny stuff like skis.
A full-featured economy subcompact built by General Motors Daewoo in Korea, the Aveo is a competently-designed four-door with sheetmetal that blends smoothly together to present a neat package. The Malibu-inspired V-shaped hood and split grille reveal its Chevrolet heritage and emphasize its wide stance. Large "shoulders" over the wheels, oversized front and rear lights and a height of almost five feet give it the appearance of a larger sedan.
Driving a car as uncomplicated as the 2009 Chevrolet Aveo releases you from constantly checking the myriad of messages or dealing with the intricate controls found on the lavish instrument panels in pricier cars. With an eye occasionally on the speedometer, the driver is free to enjoy the surprising capabilities of the Aveo’s miserly 106-horsepower engine. There is no available stability-control system, although anti-lock brakes (ABS) are an option. A slight lean is noticeable on corners taken at speed but the overall driving experience is precise and pleasant, with the car holding the line during straight, hard braking. As to be expected from this category of car, some tire, wind and engine noise is par for the course.
The 2009 Chevrolet Aveo has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) ranging from around $12,000 for the LS five-door to nearly $18,000 for a loaded Aveo LT sedan. Comparably-equipped models from Toyota and Honda cost a bit more, but have longer histories and better resale values. On the other hand, the Aveo matches rivals from Hyundai and Kia in price, but not warranty. Before you buy, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price, which represents prices consumers are actually paying in your area.
Despite its entry-level status, the 2009 Chevrolet Aveo offers a surprisingly high level of standard equipment, including front side-impact airbags, height-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, tilt wheel, interior releases for trunk and fuel door, variable wipers, OnStar and a rear window defogger. The upscale 2LT trim adds air conditioning, remote keyless entry with alarm, 15-inch wheels, cruise control and power and heated mirrors. Music lovers will appreciate the standard CD/MP3 player and 180-watt six-speaker system with auxiliary input jack. Power windows and door locks lift this model above many of its similarly-priced competitors.
The four-speed automatic overdrive transmission with Hold Control uses adaptive-shift technology. It helps to reduce wheel spin and loss of traction by allowing the driver to manually select and then hold a gear so that torque to the wheels is reduced, much as with a true manual transmission. Like audio controls at your fingertips? The Aveo LT has them at thumb level on the steering wheel. Other options include a sunroof, leatherette seats, XM Satellite Radio, fog lamps, a rear spoiler, anti-lock brakes (ABS), an engine-block heater and an anti-theft system.
Auxiliary Audio Input JackWith an eye on youthful buyers who enjoy music 24/7, even the most basic Aveo has an auxiliary input jack for iPods and other music players and electronic devices. Fuel EconomySaving on fuel bills is high on many folks’ lists and Aveo buyers are obviously looking for this benefit. The LT with automatic transmission rewards you with 25 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, depending upon road conditions and driving style.
Under the Hood
General Motors’ 16-valve four-cylinder engine powers every 2009 Aveo and produces 106 horsepower. An electronic throttle control and variable induction system help maximize power across the rpm range for consistency and fuel economy, and the four-speed automatic transmission’s Hold Control mode provides a pseudo-manual operation the driver can select for sportier or more controlled driving. 1.6-liter in-line 4106 horsepower @ 6400 rpm106 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3800 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/34 (manual), 25/34 (automatic)
The 2009 Chevrolet Aveo, a smartly styled subcompact, offers excellent fuel economy, a long list of standard features and a bargain-basement price. The Aveo’s appeal extends to budget-conscious first-time buyers, anyone on a limited income and unhappy SUV owners looking for an affordable and fuel-efficient way of getting to and from the office. Available as a sedan or sporty five-door hatchback, the Aveo’s uncommonly high roof means tall occupants can sit comfortably in both front and rear, a major bonus for those who might stay clear of some small cars due to their cramped interiors.